Puerto Maldonado is host to the most developed tourism industry in the Amazon Rainforest and there are numerous lodges and tours to choose from, many of which have eco-certification. Puerto Maldonado is a sleepy town and is very unique among Amazon Rainforest gateways as an incredibly biodiverse and large protected area is only 20 minutes from town, the Tambopata National Reserve. As well as Tambopata, Puerto Maldonado is also the base destination to experience Manu National Park, thought to be the most pristine and largest national park in the country. Because Puerto Maldonado is so close to the Bolivian border, you can also visit the edges of the Bolivian Madidi National Park via the Heath River on a tour from the Heath River Lodge.
The Lago Sandoval is a picturesque oxbow lake, which means part of the river was cut off in the region’s history forming an arced body of water. The lake is surrounded by Amazon vegetation, such as Aguaje Palms among others. Surrounding the lake, you will also find emergent trees, such as Mahogany, and beautiful Orchids, a firm favorite. The birdlife around the lake is incredible and visitors often see Toucans, Macaws, Parrots, Herons, Horned Screamers, as well as the mysterious hoatzins. After all this, you have the wildlife that lives in the lake itself e.g. giant otters, turtles and caiman. To tour the lake, you can visit the Sandoval Lake Lodge
Tambopata National Reserve
Puerto Maldonado’s closest protected area, the Tambopata National Reserve contains 274,690 hectares of tropical forest and savannah protecting an incredible diversity of Amazon animals and plants. The protected area is home to the Big Three animals to see in South America, the Giant Otters, Jaguar, Tapir, and also many endemic species. The main indigenous group living in the Tambopata are the Ese-Eja who have lived in the area for at least 11, 000 years. The Tambopata National Reserve contains the largest clay lick in the entire forest, which you can visit from some of the top lodges in Tambopata.
Manu National Park
The largest and reportedly most pristine national park in Peru, the Manu National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage listed area. The Manu National Park contains both lowland Amazon Rainforest and cloud forest. In the Manu lowlands, you can enjoy beautiful oxbow lakes and clay licks where hundreds of macaws and tapir come to eat the medicinal clay. Manu contains a similar wildlife assortment as the Tambopata National Reserve, as jaguar, giant otters, tapir, macaws and many different monkeys call this national park home. There are some great tours for Manu National Park to see some incredible wildlife.
Madidi National Park
Madidi is the jewel in the crown of the Bolivian Amazon Rainforest and is the country’s most important protected area. Because the park is along the Peruvian border, you can visit Madidi National Park from Puerto Maldonado via the Heath River. Around 80% of Madidi is tropical forest and protects thousands of Amazon Rainforest plant and animal species, including Jaguar, Harpy Eagle, Giant Otters and Tapir.
|Currency used||Peruvian Nuevo Sol|